A sister is someone who's annoying. Oh yes, but, a younger sister is someone who is so insufferable that sometimes you just want to pop her head off her shoulders, punt it as far as you can across a great stretch of earth, and then tell her, "try jabbing me now that you can't see me," then remembering that she can't hear you anymore because her head is gone; but it's still hilarious watching her fumble around, because in your scenario, people don't die when their heads are removed from their bodies. That would just be creepy. Having a younger sister means remembering the nights in High School when you're innocently sitting at your desk, minding your own business, trying to be creative, when she comes running into the room like a cat on crack and starts wailing on you because that's what that one guy did to his father all the time on Jackass. It means being the cover story for when your sister sneaks out of the house to go partying late at nightit means sitting up and worrying in your mother's place because she doesn't know, but you do (but years later your mother will tell you that she knew about your sister's late night excursions all along). It means hoping that this phase will be over because it's scary thinking about your little sister out so late at night and you just hope she's okay; because if something does happen, you'll feel like it's your fault for not saying anything.
It's remembering all of the times before High School, as kids (and even adults
) sitting in the car, forced next to her, enduring her constant prodding, and thinking to yourself that she must have been born with perfect aim because she seems to be able to jab her finger into your arm, or your side, or your face in exactly the same spot every time making a nice, deep, red, painful mark. Then, once you've thoroughly screamed your lungs out, eliciting a reaction from your parents, she proceeds to the overwhelmingly dreadful: "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you
When you were really young; that age where everything is fuzzy, and you can only remember bits and pieces of things that might have happened, or might not have happened, having a little sister means hearing a story told by your parents over, and over, and over, and over about that one time when you and she were little, sitting in the car, and you both had to really go to the bathroom. So you did. Right into your shoesand you're so horrified about that story, hoping that it'll never get out one day to that mystery someone in your future with the bright smile and kind eyes, then you resign and say: screw it. Here it is. You, and your sister, peed into your shoes when you were little. Or how about this: remembering that your little sister learned to use a bike first, or that your little sister was potty-trained first.
Your little sister had problems with her eyes since she was really young, and sometimes you find yourself thinking that if it had been caught sooner, would she have shared in your love of books with you? Would she have not felt so left-behind in High School? Would she have struggled less? You wonder all of these things until you remember the kind of woman she's become, which makes you think how far she's gone, and how proud you areand how she's changed (or not changed) and how you've changed (or not changed) since you were kids; poking each other, peeing your pants (and consequently into your shoes) in the car, playing in the mud, and putting on ridiculous little plays for your parents. Then you realize you don't have any memories inside of your head of you hugging as children, but you see the photographs and you see your sister and you feel now what you must have felt then, so you hug your sister now, knowing that it is how you hugged her then and you come to find it was everything she did that annoyed the hell out of you that you miss when you pass her empty bedroom everyday.
But her empty bedroom means progress, and her empty bedroom means she's carving out a life for herself, fulfilling some of her dreams, and leaving behind othersbecause that's growing up, and you wonder when did your little sister become such a grown-up (then this thought turns to incredulity because when she comes home and visits she still annoys the crap out of you when you're forced to sit side by side in the same car).
You and your little sister lead separate lives, but you find that in the space between you, you've become closer than you ever did when you were still neighbors under the same roof. You'll always catch yourself, no matter where you are, remembering on the days before miles instead of feet separated you and think about all of the time spent trying to be as far away from each other as possible both physically and emotionally. You'll think on this, and then you'll smile because back in those days, neither of you were capable of understanding how important you were, and still are, to one another. You smile because it's not those days anymore, and now you both know.
Having a little sister, means learning what love is. It is years of battling through your differences and coming out the other end still as individuals, and yet, somehow the same. It means sitting down together and saying: "Now I know what you're going through." It means both of you threatening bodily harm to anyone who messes with either of you, because no one is going to mess with your sister. It's about the day when you both looked at each other and said: "I'm sorry. For everything."
It's knowing that no one will be a better friend than her.
For me, it's knowing that I'd never wish for her to be any different, because I loved her the way she was (even if I didn't know it), I love her for the way she is, and I will love her no matter where life takes her. All that's left to do now is devise clever ways to foil her jabs in the car the next time she comes home.